Theodore Roosevelt: A Biography

By Henry F. Pringle | Go to book overview

Chapter V
BATTLING FOR THE LORD

TOWARD the end of 1911, a chasm dividing Taft and Roosevelt, the prospects of LaFollette for the Presidential nomination were dwindling. He had announced his candidacy on June 17 and began seeking delegations for the Republican convention.1 LaFollette then committed an error which, knowing Roosevelt, he should have avoided. He mistook an attitude of cordiality, combined with Roosevelt's reiterated statement that he would actively endorse no one, for tacit support. No available letter promised such support. LaFollette, in so far as his papers show, wrote nothing to Roosevelt expressing appreciation or commenting on any pledge.2"I have endorsed no man for 1912," Roosevelt said on June 7, 1911.3

In his memoirs, LaFollette told of a visit from Gilson Gardner, a correspondent for the Scripps newspapers. Gardner told him in May, LaFollette said, that Roosevelt believed he should "get into the fight at once." The ex-President could not openly support LaFollette. He would, however, continue to comment favorably on the Wisconsin idea in the Outlook.4 Actually, this was little more than Roosevelt had agreed to do five months before. But when, at last, Roosevelt tossed his own hat into the ring, LaFollette felt that he had been betrayed. A final estimate of the situation must await examination of Roosevelt's private letters for this period, but the probability is that in 1911 he was considering 1916, not 1912.5 The swing was toward Roosevelt, and away from LaFollette. To add to the anxiety of the Wisconsin Senator, only evasive statements now came from Sagamore Hill. On November 26 1911, Roosevelt said that he was "not a candidate . . . [and] have repeatedly discouraged suggestions of this character."6 He discouraged the idea, but he did not forbid it.

____________________
1
New York Times, June 18, 1911.
2
LaFollette papers.
3
New York Times, June 8, 1911.
4
LaFollette, R. M., Op. cit., pp. 509-12.
5
Butt, Archie, Op. cit., Vol. II, pp. 797-98.
6
Philadelphia North American, Nov. 26, 1911.

-553-

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Theodore Roosevelt: A Biography
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword vii
  • Contents ix
  • Illustrations xi
  • Book I 1
  • Chapter I - Teedie 3
  • Chapter II - Growth 16
  • Chapter III - Thou Goddess, Indifference! 26
  • Chapter IV - Alice Lee 40
  • Chapter V - Butter and Jam 54
  • Chapter VI - I Rose like a Rocket 65
  • Chapter VII - Practical Politician 79
  • Chapter VIII - Gentleman Cowhand 92
  • Chapter IX - The Years Between 106
  • Chapter X - A Job Once More 120
  • Chapter XI - Sword of Righteousness 132
  • Chapter XII - The Nation in Peril 152
  • Chapter XIII - Lord of the Navy 165
  • Chapter XIV - A Bully Fight 181
  • Chapter XV - Reward for a Hero 201
  • Chapter XVI - Yearnings and Consummation 216
  • Book II 235
  • Chapter I - Middle of the Road 237
  • Chapter II - The First Attack 251
  • Chapter III - The Rights of Labor 264
  • Chapter IV - The Big Stick 279
  • Chapter V - Setting for a Melodrama 301
  • Chapter VI - I Took Panama 315
  • Chapter VII - Trimming Sail 339
  • Chapter VIII - The Imperial Years Begin 359
  • Chapter IX - Imperial Years 372
  • Chapter X - The Japanese Menace 398
  • Chapter XI - Malefactors of Great Wealth 413
  • Chapter XII - The Wicked Speculators 432
  • Chaper XIII - Substantial Justice 446
  • Chapter XIV - Handing Down the Law 465
  • Chapter XV - End of the Reign 476
  • Book III 495
  • Chapter I - The First Error 497
  • Chapter II - Among the Kings 508
  • Chapter III - Return Triumphant 525
  • Chapter IV - True Democracy 540
  • Chapter V - Battling for the Lord 553
  • Chapter VI - Drums of War 572
  • Chapter VII - The Final Blow 589
  • Appendix 605
  • Bibliography 607
  • Index 613
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